Nasty Bugs PDF

by Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry. . .bugs. . .boys. . .I think I see a kind of perfect match with the approach of April when we begin to celebrate poetry with our younger readers.

Okay. Wait. Maybe we lost you here. Bugs. . .yes. . .bugs. Look around your room right now? I'll bet you have some boys who absolutely love bugs. But when will they ever get to read a collection of poems about them? Or find them in a lesson or a book quite possibly meant just for them.

Lee Bennett Hopkins has done it again with NASTY BUGS. He's brought along his poetic friends to include Rebecca Kai Dotlich ("Boll Weevil"), X. J. Kennedy ("Colorado Potato Beetle"), Marilyn Singer ("Disagreeable Fleas"), J. Patrick Lewis ("Spoiled Rotten"), Kristine O'Connell George ("Bedbug Has a Bite to Eat"), and Douglas Florian ("The Giant Water Bug").

Will Terry's illustrations are a graphic delight with each page dedicated to the piece and a depiction of the bug being celebraed. The illustrations are cartoon-ish, but realistic enough to satisfy your bug lovers in the room. For Writer's Workshop readiness, Hopkins's collection here has some of the best of the best by way of master poets who tease with a promised rhyme or lend an irresistible cadence that just begs reading aloud.

Marilyn Singer offers these lines about fleas:

The eager bugs
set up shop
in houses, yards,
on St. Bernards.

Can you hear the cadence here? Your younger readers/listeners will be able as well, making Singer's piece just one that can be emulated for style and rhythm of a student's own.

Current Children's Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis offers this not-quite-ready-for-lunchtime piece about maggots:

I'm a maggot.
I'm a marvel
of the larval generation.
I'm a comma
In a drama
of disgusting devastation.

There is a hip hop feel to this piece that invites conversations about internal rhyme and metaphor that younger readers might recognize in classroom-friendly rap pieces. "Spoiled Rotten" really demonstrates why J. Patrick Lewis is a treasured children's poet.

Amy Ludwig Vanderwater's piece, "Lice" will have you looking for your school-provided little black comb after that first itch materializes.

I am the proud owner of a number of Lee Bennett Hopkins's anthologies and collections and he never disappoints, even with a creepy-crawly subject like "bugs." The ability to draw from some of today's best children's poets continue to make Hopkins one to look to and to look for when adding poetry collections to one's classroom library.

"Ladder" this one up with two poetry book coming out this year by children's poetry treasures, Jane Yolen (BUG OFF) and Helen Frost (STEP GENTLY OUT). It's going to be a buggy poetry month this year!

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